Navyn Salem
Founder and CEO

In 2009 Navyn set out to help end the crisis of global malnutrition by founding Edesia, a U.S. non-profit, social enterprise, with a mission to treat and prevent malnutrition in developing countries worldwide. Her factory in Rhode Island produces a range of fortified, peanut-based products like Plumpy’Nut for humanitarian agencies like UNICEF, World Food Programme, USAID and other NGOs working in emergency and conflict zones. Since 2010, Edesia has reached over 17 million children in 62 countries, including Somalia, Venezuela, Yemen and Syria. In 2020, she expanded her mission to include addressing hunger in the United States and works with the USDA in providing food for their COVID-19 emergency response efforts for both school lunch programs and food banks.

Navyn is a 2022 McNulty Prize Winner, was a Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year/New England in 2018, New Englander of the Year by the New England Council in 2017 and New England Business Woman of the Year by Bryant University. She was awarded honorary degrees by her alma mater, Boston College (2012) as well as Bryant University (2014), Providence College (2017), Curry College (2018), University of RI (2021) and Salve Regina University (2022). She is a Trustee of Boston College. She is a 2014 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Navyn’s father is from Tanzania and she has four daughters, all of whom were the inspiration for the creation of Edesia.